Laneway. Photo by Max Lemesh.
Yum Cha at Grand Harbour. Photo by Rob Tennent.
Shakespeare in the Park.

Staying in town for the long weekend? Here’s what to do

Despite all the wonderful weather that we have been enjoying this week, our luck might not hold out as we enter the first long weekend of the year. That said, for anyone staying in town over Auckland Anniversary Weekend, there is plenty to do in the City that will keep you thoroughly entertained (regardless of what the weather decides to do). From epic music festivals to immersive cultural experiences to fascinating exhibitions, here is everything to do in Auckland over the upcoming long weekend.

Watch live music

Fatboy Slim.

Elton John
The most successful performing male artist of all time is making good on his promise to return to Auckland for one final live show before he stops touring for good, and we couldn’t be more excited to see him in action. For one spectacular night, Elton John will take to the stage at Mt. Smart Stadium, delighting crowds with his showmanship and iconic music. Given that there are still a few tickets available, we would encourage you to book with haste — this is one event you won’t want to miss.
Friday the 27th of January. See here for details.


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Gardens Music Festival
Fatboy Slim leads the line-up at this year’s epic Garden Music Festival, taking place in the Auckland Domain. Joining the iconic DJ are the likes of LP Giobbi, Peking Duk, Set Mo and more. Kicking off at 2pm, this is the perfect excuse for a boogie.
Sunday the 29th of January. See here for details.

Laneway
Haim, Joji, Phoebe Bridgers, Finneas and Fred Again…, lead this year’s stellar Laneway line up, as the popular inner-city music festival returns after a nearly three-year hiatus for what is shaping up to be a very fun event. This year also marks the first time that Laneway will be held at Western Springs (having moved from Albert Park).
Monday the 30th of January. See here for details.

Celebrate Lunar New Year

Painting by Wei Lun Ha at the Commerical Bay airbridge.

Lunar New Year at Commercial Bay
Kicking off its Lunar New Year celebrations in style, Commercial Bay invited Chi-Wi artist Wei Lun Ha to undertake a live painting session on the precinct’s airbridge. There, his colourful piece will remain for the duration of the Lunar New Year period, and we highly recommend checking it out yourself. In addition, Commercial Bay is running a special gift-with-purchase promotion, whereby anyone who spends $150 or more can collect a unique postcard and stamp that they can send to family or friends as a commemoration of this celebratory time of year. Commercial Bay resident Kōkako has also added a bespoke drink to its menu in honour of the Lunar New Year — and Orange Cold Brew Spritz. Seeing cold brew mixed with Six Barrel Soda’s orange and dandelion syrup, East Imperial tonic water and mandarin, this refreshing drink is putting a distinctly flavoursome twist on the morning coffee.

Yum Cha at Grand Harbour
There is arguably no better place to mark Chinese New Year than this Viaduct Harbour institution. Under the banners of the precinct’s striking new Lunar New Year campaign, Grand Harbour will be serving up its famously flavoursome yum cha and is set to be packed with weekend punters seeking a satiating bite. Grand Harbour will also be open on Monday for anyone looking to start their Auckland Anniversary morning in the best way possible.

Auckland Night Markets
Teaming up with Skycity to mark the Lunar New Year, the Auckland Night Markets are setting up shop at the base of the Sky Tower for two evenings of utterly delicious food. The first, takes place this Sunday from 4pm until 9pm, where hungry punters can find a mouthwatering array of local vendors serving up fresh and flavoursome fare, made on-site. The second will take place on the 5th of February.

Immerse yourself in the classics

Shakespeare in the Park.

Shakespeare in the Park
The PumpHouse Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park season is off to a roaring start with two timeless classics: The Merry Wives of Windsor and Antony & Cleopatra. Set in The PumpHouse Theatre’s Outdoor Amphitheatre, this year’s season of Shakespeare will have you falling in love with The Bard all over again, with productions running until the 18th of February.
See here for details.

Renaissance The Age of Genius
Don’t miss your chance to become immersed in the works of the great Renaissance masters at this incredible, multi-media exhibition set in the Hunua Room on Level 1 of the Aotea Centre. There, a powerful server and 10 high-powered projectors have been used to synchronise thousands of Renaissance images and transform them into an impressive display that wraps around three whole sides of the space. Viewed alongside a beautiful soundtrack of classical music, this exhibition offers an unforgettable experience with some of the world’s most famous pieces of art by Giotto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and more.
On now until the 29th of January. See here for details.

Head to the Museum

Barbara the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

See the new female Tyrannosaurus Rex
In a world-first, both adult male and female T.Rex skeletons are being displayed alongside one another at the Auckland War Memorial Museum has welcomed Barbara to sit alongside its impressive male T-Rex, Peter. These are two of the rarest T.Rex skeletons ever displayed with Barbara one of only three female T.Rex skeletons to have ever been discovered. This is one to take the kids to, STAT.
See here for details.

Secrets of Stonehenge
Explore the extraordinary mystery of Stonehenge via this immersive exhibition that harnesses cutting-edge research and the latest scientific evidence to delve into the story behind the iconic formation. Visitors will also be able to view more than 300 ancient artefacts, including stone tools, antler picks, pottery, gold and bronze objects and even a bronze axe with ancient graffiti, all of which could have been used in Stonehenge’s creation.
See here for details.

Catch a movie

The Menu starring Anya Taylor-Joy.

What better way to pass a day of inclement weather than by immersing yourself in a captivating film? Alongside the new releases drawing us to book dinner and a movie at our favourite cinema, is a raft of films that have popped up on various streaming services, perfect for a cosy night at home. Whatever your cinematic tastes, we have rounded up all the best new films to watch now, here.

Culture

We talk to author Trent Dalton on his dark childhood, finding light between the cracks, and the girl who saved him
Meet Kura Kai, the local charity addressing food poverty in Auckland’s high schools
Ain’t no party like an Ayrburn party! See inside Ayrburn’s inaugural Winter Ball